by Glenn E. Rice, Katie Bernard and Cortlynn Stark // KC Star
From March 24, when the orders went into effect, until Thursday, 911 calls for domestic violence in Kansas City climbed 26% compared to the same time last year, said Capt. Tim Hernandez, who supervises the Kansas City Police Department’s special victims’ unit, tasked with investigating domestic violence, child abuse and sex assault crimes. Law enforcement in other jurisdictions, including Johnson and Platte counties, also reported increases.
One survivor who has lived in the Newhouse domestic violence shelter for about six months said it breaks her heart to think about the victims calling in to crisis hotlines these days. She worries about what she would do if a virus outbreak forced the shelter to close.
“I don’t have family here,” she said. “During this time we’re not technically allowed to travel so I wouldn’t get to try to at least go home to my family.
The shelter has employed social distancing gradually to minimize the trauma experienced by residents. Residents with roommates have moved into their own rooms, and they have scheduled different times to eat. They can’t sit in groups anymore.